Review: X-Men Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse.

I swore I wouldn’t write a review for the film. Primarily because any review I penned would pale in comparison to the excellent piece penned by my buddy and fellow N.O.C. colleague, Valerie Complex.

Seriously if you haven’t read it, go do so now. Val snatched so many wigs and edges, you would’ve thought Director Bryan Singer and Fox were members of the Charles Xavier Cosplay Appreciation Society.

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Kickstarter Secrets with Greg Pak

Recently Fearless Leader (known to some of you as Keith Chow), informed the N.O.C. collective that legendary comic book writer Greg Pak had a new Kickstarter campaign and wanted to see if anyone would be interested in interviewing him.

My response to Fearless Leader:

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X-Men Apocalypse: Fox Wins But People of Color Lose

Don’t expect this movie to rely heavily on the source material. Director Bryan Singer presents a film that’s a hodge-podge of various stories made up by people who know nothing about the X-Men. Aside from Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Apocalypse (Oscar Issac, doing well with whatever the hell he is given) being mildly entertaining, they can’t save the film from imploding. Everyone else is either used as filler or bores you to death with their on-screen presence. Choppy action scenes are put in place to mask the uninteresting, underdeveloped characters, cheesy dialogue, Playstation 2-quality special effects, and makeup that looks like it was bought from the bargain bin at Chapel Hill Beauty Supply. The worst part is the newcomers don’t get their chance to shine like the trailer would have you believe. Particularly the characters of color.

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Never Buy Black Panther Graphic Novels During Black History Month

I’m always fascinated when white geeks go on and on about how accepting and wonderful geek culture is. I don’t question their experience, I just can’t personally relate. For me, I have to be cautious of what venues of fandom I venture in, because it’s not unlike walking through gen pop, where you constantly have to look over your shoulder to make sure an inmate or warden doesn’t attempt to shank you. Or a better analogy would be making sure that while you’re always outnumbered, that you’re never outgunned like my patronus Midnighter.

The following happened a few years ago, but this tale definitely warrants a post just the same.

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The Most Watched Hard N.O.C. Life Episodes

We’re continuing the celebration of our two-year anniversary week with another look back. This time, we’re going to count down the top ten most watched episodes of Hard N.O.C. Life, our (semi-)weekly YouTube series where I talk to folks about various topics.

When the site first launched in 2013, the idea for a YouTube show utilizing the Google Hangout format was going to be one of the main pillars. I had just come off a stint appearing on a similarly formatted show about basketball (more specifically, about Jeremy Lin) created by Terry Park for Asian CineVision and thought the format would be great for talking comics, movies, and TV. And thus, Hard N.O.C. Life
was born!

So just like we did yesterday, we’ve combed through the archives to find these, the ten most viewed HNL episodes over the last two years.

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The Unlikely Muse

Originally published on Latin Negro

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

— Toni Morrison

They say necessity is the mother of all invention and by extension, creativity. As a storyteller I’ve certainly found that to be true for the narratives I penned. As a queer geek of color, I’ve learned early on that geek culture is for white people for a number of reasons, and to be a PoC or an LGBTQ means to be treated like a pariah.

More than that, countless marginalized characters are endlessly undercut and buried due to the rampant bigotry that pervades the media. Extraordinary characters such as Storm (the First Lady of Marvel), Renee Montoya, Regina Mills, Freedom Ring, Midnighter, Cassandra Cain and countless others who have been lightning rods for racism, misogyny, and/or homophobia by fandom and the industry alike.

But as any artist will tell you, inspiration can often come in the unlikeliest of forms.

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Five Marvel Characters Who Deserve Their Own Vehicles

Nearly two years ago today, Marvel Comics announced its initiative to be more progressive in its comic book lineup. Surprisingly they have stuck with said initiative and it has paid off for them immensely in sales, mainstream interest and general good press. Many of the editorial decisions The House of Ideas have made are commendable.

From introducing Miles Morales, a female Thor, the new Ms. Marvel, to the all female X-Men team, Mighty Avengers, to Storm finally getting her long overdue ongoing solo series, Marvel is renewing its commitment to meet the diverse demographic of its readers. It was this type of initiative that translated into Marvel’s success in the past.

With that being said Marvel has often committed the Cardinal Sin of either shelving or misusing some excellent characters who would definitely result in profitable returns. This might be shocking news for some at Marvel but they do have characters other than Wolverine. Characters, who if given the right opportunity have crossover and mainstream appeal that would result in elevating Marvel’s success to the next level.

The following are five excellent examples of said characters.

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NOCs of the Roundtable: Olivia Munn is Psylocke

On Monday, director Bryan Singer revealed on Instagram that he had cast Newsroom star Olivia Munn as Psylocke in the upcoming reboot/sequel X-Men: Apocalypse. And if you’re wondering, Pyslocke was previously portrayed by Mei Melançon in X-Men: The Last Stand, but everyone knows that movie doesn’t count (and after the events of the last X-Men movie, none of the other ones do either).

Due in theaters next year, Apocalypse continues the period-set aesthetic of the new X-Men franchise. While First Class was set in the 1960s and Days of Future Past in the 1970s, Apocalypse will take place during the 1980s, which is fitting since that’s the time period that saw Betsy Braddock go from a supporting role in Captain Britain to a full-fledged member of the X-Men. She’s also one of the first characters to undergo a convoluted, but canonical, race swap in the pages of the comic.

Anyway, some of the Nerds convened around the old Roundtable to talk about Olivia’s casting in the next X-Men film.

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